Lake County Zoning Board approves proposed Dimucci development
Location: intersection of Rand and Old McHenry roads in unincorporated Lake County
Size: 109 acres
Proposal: 650,000-square-feet of retail space in a shopping center
Updated: September 24, 2012 1:52PM
KILDEER — The Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 7-0 on Thursday in favor of rezoning the 109-acre property at the intersection of Rand and Old McHenry roads, with plans in place to build a retail and commercial complex at the unincorporated Lake County site.
The vote, which was held at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer, was not a final decision: The matter needs to go before the Lake County Planning Commission and then to the Lake County Board, who has the final say.
Despite a previous compromise by the Zoning Board to restrict development to 650,000-square-feet for the shopping center, down from a proposed 800,000-square-foot plan, community members continued to express concern at Thursday’s public hearing. Residents have argued that a large shopping mall would diminish the quality of life in nearby subdivisions.
The property straddles the border of Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington.
“There’s not much good to it as we can see,” said John Maskel, who lives directly across the street from where the development would be built. “And we’re concerned about the value of our house.”
Sharon Hatz, who lives in the Timber Lake subdivision in North Barrington, said she is concerned about the lengthy construction period that the development would require.
“My big concern is if you want to retire and sell, you’ll have all those years of construction,” Hatz said.
Hatz also brought up the fact that there are no sidewalks in the subdivisions surrounding the proposed development site. People driving through the subdivisions as shortcuts to the mall, she said, would create a danger for residents, particularly children.
Many area residents also have expressed concerns about the increased traffic that the development would bring. Other factors residents have addressed include pollution and danger to the forest preserves and wildlife in the area.
Members of the Zoning Board have suggested that Route 12 is continuing to grow as a commercial corridor. Also, they maintain that scaling back from 800,000 to 650,000-square-feet makes the development more feasible.
“I feel comfortable because the project has been so thoroughly examined and scaled back,” said Zoning Board member Carol Zerba.
“I think this is a project that will be good for the community,” added Board member Gregory Koeppen. “It will not change your area as much as you think.”
Responding to residents in the neighboring North Barrington and Hawthorne Woods communities, Zoning Board member George Bell said he has lived in the area his entire life and has seen a lot of change.
“The trend now is that people want to live closer to shopping,” he said. “People don’t want to travel.”
Bell also emphasized that Thursday’s vote is not a final decision.
The proposal also is set to appear before the Lake County Board’s Planning, Building and Zoning Committee in the coming weeks. It will then head to the Lake County Board for final approval.